Millennium Post

Cong leaders meet Sonia over new Jharkhand govt

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday held consultations with senior party leaders, including A K Antony, as talks for an alliance with JMM for the next Lok Sabha polls and formation of a coalition government in Jharkhand reached the final stage.

Defence minister Antony, who chairs the sub-group on alliances for the next general elections, AICC general secretary in charge of Jharkhand B K Hariprasad, AICC general secretary Shakeel Ahmed, PCC chief Sukhdeo Bhagat and CLP leader Rajendra Singh met Gandhi on Wednesday morning to apprise her of the progress of the talks with JMM so far.

Earlier, Bhagat, Singh and senior state Congress leader Sarfaraz Ahmed met RJD chief Lalu Prasad. Singh said he was 100 per cent sure that the RJD would back the new government in Jharkhand.

Congress has agreed to have a JMM chief minister in the state which in lieu has consented to give a lion’s share of the 14 Lok Sabha seats to the Congress, sources said. Shibu Soren’s son Hemant Soren, who is tipped to be the next chief minister, held a meeting with RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Wednesday night to seek his support for the coalition government.

Hours before his meeting with Prasad, Soren had a long discussion with Antony, the Congress president’s political secretary Ahmed Patel where nitty-gritties of government formation were learnt to have been discussed.

RJD is expected to get two ministerial berths while JMM will have to be content with the chief minister’s post and four ministerial slots, the sources said.
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